Integration Framework for Business Systems

Product development often consists of siloed domains where development is distributed through various locations and departments. Regardless of industry (aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, consumer goods, electronics, healthcare, etc.), the product development ecosystem of partners, developers, suppliers, vendors, and more have their own IT systems, procedures, and operations. This presents ongoing challenges for the collaboration of development data across domains. If departments engage an integration framework for system-wide PLM integration, however, companies run more efficiently.

Achieving the state of system-wide PLM integration is no easy task. Manufacturers aim to create a communication framework of data that provides an integrated view throughout the lifecycle, known as the digital thread. Complimentary to the digital thread is the digital twin, a digital representation of a system or product that provide real-time insights about how a product or system will perform in given conditions.

Because both the digital thread and digital twin require datasets from different domains, it is necessary to establish a sound integration framework with the right tools, processes, and methodology. Examining development processes to optimize business systems integration ultimately provides manufacturers with a holistic view of their product development, enabling better collaboration, faster production with fewer defects, and significant cost savings.

What Is Business Systems Integration?

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Business systems integration is essential for a company looking to collect information from more than one system. Leveraging business systems integration with the right tools and best practice methodology connects all essential systems, making it easier for an organization to unify data and collaborate more effectively during product development. Business systems integration is the process of creating connectivity and communication between different software applications in order to increase efficiency and collaboration between people, systems, and data. Because product development requires numerous systems, integration between PLM, ALM, ERP, MES, CAX, and other systems will help streamline development.

Why an Integration Framework is Important

Systems integration is vital to successful product development for several reasons:

Improve Delivery

It is possible to improve delivery time and performance using systems integration by speeding up development. When teams are distributed and working on several systems an integration framework provides better collaboration, helps reduce long development cycles, reduces errors, and improves the delivery to your end users.

Improve Operations

PLM System Integration Framework

Faster, more efficient processing and development methods lead to improved productivity. With systems integration, employees can easily obtain relevant data throughout multiple systems, which speeds up the entire development process. Systems integration helps reduce licensing needs for multiple platforms by bringing data to user in their current system. For example, several of our customers connect their enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to their PLM for improved operations (PLM ERP integration). More commonly, PROSTEP experts see PLM to PLM integration and PLM to ALM, MES, or Cax integrations.

Improve Connectivity

Internal and external development teams with access to up-to-date, real-time data across several domains and systems experience enhanced internal communication. An integration framework able to work with different data formats using standardized, neutral formats along with the right mapping and conversion tools augments clear and effective communicate within a company.

Improve Time Management

Incorporating systems integration into a workspace improves time management by removing the need to manually connect and update data from different systems within an organization. When access to information is translated and updated in real time regardless of the system, more efficient time management ensues.

Improve Efficiency

Overall, integration between production systems greatly reduces the overall margin of error and decreases defects in product development. Integration provides consistent, automated synchronization as standard methodology versus the manual process of moving data that may vary and is prone to human error. The right toolset for business systems integration maximizes productivity down the supply chain and enriches the digital thread and digital twin.

OpenPDM is the Tool of Choice for Creating an Integration Framework


OpenPDM is the tool of choice for creating an integration framework for system-wide integration. OpenPDM allows constantly updated bi-directional data flow, which ‌permits users to carry out their product development processes much more effectively and efficiently.

OpenPDM’s robust connectors enable you to implement the digital thread in your organization, allowing access to rapidly updated information across PLM, ERP, MES, ALM, CAx, and many others.

OpenPDM’s microservices architecture, separation of mapping engine and connectors result in information mapped from the source system to your target system with no data loss. OpenPDM supports read/write functions for all objects, attributes, relations, and files connected in the systems.

Supported operations include:

OpenPDM Integration
  • Query objects
  • Create/Read/Update/Delete Business objects
  • Create/Read/Update/Delete Relationships
  • Check-In / Check-Out
  • Login / Logout from backend
  • Transactions
  • Execute Transitions (change lifecycle states)
  • Execute Workflows
  • Modify Ownership/Security/Projects, etc.
  • Download / Upload / Delete Files
  • Bulk operational methods

The OpenPDM product suite consists of:

OpenPDM Integrate

OpenPDM Integrate

OpenPDM Integrate is the solution built to link systems across multiple departments and domains inside and outside your organization. It gives users access to accurate, timely data synchronized and mapped across multiple systems.

OpenPDM Connect

OpenPDM Connect

OpenPDM Connect is the industry standard method to connect two digital PLM systems when managing complex product development processes. OpenPDM Connect allows you to connect two PLM systems, enabling the integration of business processes, maintenance of data integrity and reliability, enterprise-wide consistent and up-to-date data and flexibility and quick implementation.

OpenPDM Migrate

OpenPDM Migrate

OpenPDM Migrate is the preferred tool of choice for accurate, timely, and reliable data migration for PLM systems. This system allows you to gradually migrate an existing system data from an old to a new system. You also have the option to temporarily keep both systems active or switch systems entirely if you prefer a less gradual option.

OpenPDM Migrate allows for virtually any product structure to be migrated across systems. Furthermore, bidirectional data synchronization allows a user directed customizable migration pace.

OpenPDM Collaborate

OpenPDM Collaborate

OpenPDM Collaborate gives you the ability to customize the provisioning and synchronization of PLM and CAD data. This solution exports PLM and CAD data from backend systems, enabling data synchronization at regular intervals. The ability to adapt to different configuration scenarios leads to the seamless integration of data in PLM systems used by partners.

OpenPDM CCenter

OpenPDM CCenter

With OpenPDM CCenter, all PLM project data is secured and synchronized outside your IT Infrastructure. The data is available to all parties within a protected environment, enabling quick on/off boarding of partners during development and ensuring enterprise-wide PLM collaboration.
Globally distributed projects involving multiple partners require major coordination of product development data. OpenPDM CCenter, a Collaboration Platform, simplifies your coordination efforts. It ensures that enterprise-wide synchronized data is available in a secure, protected environment. OpenPDM CCenter will extract PLM, CAD and structured data and then update the data across all domains.


Overall, OpenPDM is a highly robust, dedicated integration platform capable of various integration type scenarios and system migrations due to upgrades, acquisitions, or system end of life. Built to exclusively integrate product data from PLM, ERP, ALM, SDM, MES, CAx, and other legacy systems, OpenPDM powers your development processes. With over 30 years of PLM experience, PROSTEP’s vendor-neutral connectors and strong partnerships with all leading vendors provide automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding, and other manufacturing companies the tools to enable digital thread and digital twin connectivity.

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